The 2019/20 Irish senior amateur campaign got under way last weekend with Brendan O’Donoghue winning the Barracks Classic for the first time since 2016.
Returning after a season away from the game to offer his views on events on the Irish circuit again is Jonathan “Sniper” Williams.
By Jonathan Williams
“First of all, I would like to say it’s great being back playing ‘competitive’ snooker again this year after a year off.”
“My shoulder problem persists but doesn’t really affect my game that much.
“It’s nice to be back writing Snipers Snippets as some of the players have been asking about it. Unfortunately for me, the event went exactly as I expected, though.
“I’ve really only got back playing the last two weeks and when your first match is against someone like Rodney Goggins, who just had a warm up game, you know the writing is on the wall.
“My weekend was short lived and I’m not even angry about it as I don’t remember doing a lot right, nor a lot wrong.
“In the first frame Rodney constructed a great 116 clearance, followed by a frame that I only got to the colours with him because he had a huge roll-off into the middle.
“It was finally all topped off with a lovely maximum attempt of twelve reds and blacks. Game over. Nothing I could do.
“Brendan O’Donoghue and John Sutton were the two players who were able to come through Saturday’s matches and reach the final on Sunday.
“The final was excellent as these lads play at such a high standard – one or two visits to the table needed and it’s all over.
“Both Brendan and John have high expectations of themselves and it shows.
“Sutton played the best snooker over the whole weekend with wins over Josh Boileau, Colm Gilcreest, Rodney Goggins, and Mick Judge.
“It was a horrible, yet amazing path to a final as they were all worthy of being a final in their own right.
“Brendan, however, is a proven winner and he managed to win by four frames to two.
“There is a stat floating about that Brendan has the most senior wins in the history of RIBSA snooker with about 25, with Rodney in second place on 22. Incredible.
“Another key stat is that, since the 2010/11 season when better records began being recorded on the new RIBSA website, Brendan has 15 wins and six runner-ups, Judge has 13 wins and four runner-ups, and Rodney has eight wins and nine runner-ups.
“The extreme dominance from these lads in the last decade or so has to be applauded.
“Hard luck to John who is still waiting for his first senior win in seven attempts and congrats to Brendan on yet another win to continue his Hendryesque reign at the top of the history books.
“In terms of other standout results, Darren Savage had a very close game with Noel Landers, who on paper would have been seen as firm favorite to win that game.
“It took a great clearance in the decider to win that match while Liam Brady had a great 3-2 win over favourite Benny O’Brien.
“Phillip O’Connor had a 3-1 win over Stephen Bateman in Round 2 and Gareth Kirwin, who I don’t know all that well, had one of the results of the event in beating Ryan Cronin in a decider.
“That said, my surprise win of the event has to be Adrian Morrissey beating national champion Davy Morris 3-2 – it was a brilliant win for a lovely chap.
“Overall, the running of the Barracks Classic went very smoothly and from what I could see the tables were in good nick.
“Everything was finished on schedule but I suppose that’s not hard when you have an entry of just 43 or so.
“Letterkenny is quite the trek for some people, so fair play to the Cork lads in particular.
“I must admit I hate driving to these faraway venues but the fact you can stay overnight and have the craic with some of the lads makes it worth the effort.
“Of course id rather re-live some of my form from the 2012 season but life gets in the way sometimes.
“I’m currently in the process of moving house and I get married in January, so maybe after all this my focus will be back solely on snooker.
“Sniper over and out.”